Pixabay Stock Image.ALBANY — A New York State Senator has introduced a bill that would postpone rent payments for 90 days.State Sen. Michael Gianaris, the Democratic Deputy Senate Majority Leader who represents part of Queens, says rent for certain tenants would be postponed as a response to COVID-19.The bill is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee, about twenty additional state senators have co-sponsored the bill, and there is also a version in the Assembly.Last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo listed measures enacted for financial relief amid the pandemic, including: 90-day mortgage reliefWaive mortgage payments based on financial hardshipNo negative reporting to credit bureausGrace period for loan modificationsNo late payment fees or online payment feesPostponing or suspending foreclosuresWaive fees for overdrafts, ATMs, and credit cards Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Representatives of other countries highlighted the involvement of the Bolivian contingent and expressed their gratitude. Gratitude from other countries Haiti is not the only country where Bolivian service members have participated in international missions. Previously, the Bolivian Military has cooperated in peacekeeping missions in Angola, the Ivory Coast, and the Congo. “We are proud to have contributed through our presence, human resources, and our means to fulfill the mission established by the United Nations to stabilize the country,” Major General José Luis Begazo Ampuero, Commanding General of the Army of Bolivia, said in a closing ceremony at the Tiwanaku Base in Port-au-Prince. They also helped in fighting an outbreak of cholera in October 2010 as well as other endemic diseases afflicting a large portion of the Haitian population. “Throughout the many years of struggle and sacrifice, the Blue Helmets have earned their place as a symbol of hope for millions of people who live in places torn apart by war,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. By Dialogo June 26, 2015 A wonderful example of what can be achieved by projecting military force jointly with regional partners. In the current time of shrinking defence budgets, economic benefits of stability through cooperation must be emphasised to the public and policymakers. The Bolivian Army contributed to the security and public order of the local civilian population as part of the effort carried out by the 21 countries that comprise MINUSTAH. The Bolivian Army has concluded its involvement in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) after nine years. During the mission, more than 3,000 Bolivian service members worked tirelessly to bring about the return of security and political stability and to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Haiti, all in cooperation with 20 other countries. As part of the MINUSTAH Military component reduction plan established by the United Nations, the final Military contingent from Bolivia – consisting of 205 service members – returned to their home capital on June 15 “after completing its international commitment,” said Colonel Rodolfo Javier Garvizu Díaz, director of Peace Operations for the Bolivian Army. They arrived at La Paz’s Miraflores General Headquarters having finalized their activities for MINUSTAH on May 26. The involvement and values of Latin American Armed Forces in MINUSTAH have been key to re-establishing peace, as well as respecting human rights, said retired Chilean Army Colonel Carlos Ojeda. That contingent — the last of 15 sent to Haiti over nine years — included 185 men and 20 women. During the UN mission a total of 3,108 Bolivian service members, including 174 women, participated in the peacekeeping initiative in rotating six-month contingents. “Security is the overarching theme of all Military activities to put an end to the variety of current and emerging threats that might affect the normal development of activities on our soil,” Col. Garvizu said. “Participating in protecting the environment is another challenge where the Bolivian Army is not sitting on the sidelines, in addition to several tasks we perform to benefit the population of Bolivia.” Participating in overseas peacekeeping missions helps the Armed Forces provide public safety at home. At that time, the Bolivian contingent provided humanitarian assistance, rendering aid to the civilian population affected by the natural disaster, and also assisted UN members at the general headquarters in Port-au-Prince, “demonstrating responsibility, discipline, professionalism, and esprit de corps,” Col. Garvizu said. “Dear brothers and sisters, we have lived life on base with you. I assure you that Haiti will not forget you, because we hold you in our hearts. As you leave, I assure you that you may return as guests or tourists, but always as our brothers and sisters,” said Haitian Minister of Defense Lener Renaud. “During the cholera epidemic, the Bolivian contingent provided medical assistance to the infected population by establishing field hospitals, evacuation of the deceased, and assisting with the preventive processes at MINUSTAH facilities,” Col. Garvizu said. “Due to their discipline and operations capacity,” the Bolivian contingent was designated as the “MINUSTAH Multinational Force Reserve Unit,” responsible for reinforcing, supporting or relieving sectors of responsibility for other contingents during their deployment in Haiti. For the Bolivian Army, participating in such missions represents “a sense of brotherhood in which we contributed to peacemaking in a brotherly nation. The Military aspect allowed the personnel deployed on the mission to acquire greater experience in peace missions,” Col. Garvizu said. “Solidarity with our neighbors was without a doubt an aspect that had a positive effect on all members of the different contingents.” Additionally, Bolivian service members participated in security patrols, aerial and land reconnaissance, helped escort convoys, and assisted in controlling civil disturbances; they also organized a rapid response force with an operational capacity to confront any incident that might affect security within its assigned area of responsibility. “We are sure that because of the behavior demonstrated, the successes, the selfless labor, and proven usefulness, the Army [of Bolivia] will once again be called to answer the commitment we have sustained with the United Nations since 1997,” said Bolivian Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira, according to Bolivian online daily La Patria en Línea. Bolivian Army has participated in other international missions As part of MINUSTAH, Bolivian Troops have helped Haiti handle a series of security and humanitarian challenges. For example, the mission filled an essential role after the January 2010 earthquake, which left more than 200,000 dead, including 96 UN peacekeepers.
The transaction is structured as a full scheme buy-in which is expected to move to buy-out in future, at which point the scheme will be wound up, according to a statement by Rothesay.Cleo Taylor, business development director at Rothesay Life, said the transaction reflected the strong demand the firm is seeing for long-term security from pensions schemes. The scheme’s trustees were advised by Mercer and Pinsent Masons on the process of choosing an appropriate insurer and negotiating terms. Rothesay Life was advised by Linklaters.As for Scottish Widdow’s deal, the buy-in was a “significant step” on the group’s longer term de-risking journey and is expected to provide additional security and stability to scheme members, according to a statement.Malcolm Sugden, the schemes’ chair of trustee, said: “The group’s funding level has improved significantly in recent years and this transaction allows us to lock in some of that positive performance providing security to our members and other stakeholders.”The scheme’s trustees were advised by Aon and Sackers, with support from the Aon scheme actuary and the KPMG investment team.Aon has now advised on all the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme bulk annuity transactions completed.Scottish Widows was advised throughout the process by Herbert Smith Freehills.Hymans Robertson: Master trust report shows ‘positive returns but early signs of concern’The Annual Master Trust Default Report, the third launched by consultancy Hymans Robertson, has revealed that despite the positive returns for 2019, some concerns remain regarding providers’ investment risk profiles.Michael Ambery, head of provider relations at Hymans Robertson, said: “In 2019 money has continued to pour in to the master trusts and it would be fair to say that it has been a remarkable year for the vehicle.”With the completion of regulator’s provider authorisation process, the introduction of responsible investment requirements and tightening legislation around the statement of investment principles there have been some significant milestones, he noted.The report shows, however, that many providers have not materially changed their investment risk profile from previous years, and that there are still following three clear phases of defined contribution (DC) investment:Growth – when taking on risk in exchange for higher returns is preferable;Consolidation – when a more cautious approach is adopted; andPre-retirement – when any risk should be significantly dialled down.“It also shows that although members have continued to enjoy positive returns in each of these phases, there are some early signs of concern emerging. For example, some providers are potentially limiting returns by being too over-cautious in the early stages of a DC savings journey when volatility should be accepted,” Ambery explained.He said, on the other hand that “some are taking unnecessary levels of risk at the point of pre-retirement, when any unexpected downturns could significantly impact returns”.Alongside all of this, for any investment strategy to work, Amberey believes it is essential that DC members remain informed and up-to-date around their chosen retirement age, what this choice means in practice and, should they wish to, how to change it.Opperman retains pensions minister jobThe UK’s department for work and pensions (DWP) has confirmed Guy Opperman has been re-appointed as pensions minister.The MP for Hexham was re-elected with an increased majority of 25,152 in last week’s election.In his role as pensions minister, Opperman has urged pension schemes to sign up to a framework to reduce transfer times between defined contribution plans.Opperman has also said the government will consider legislation to make schemes simplify statements if they do not do it on their own.He has been a firm backer of the pensions dashboard, which the Money and Pensions Service is taking the lead on.The landslide majority of prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to put the pension schemes bill back on track.Opperman was first appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state at the DWP on 14 June 2017.David Everett, partner at pensions consultancy LCP, said: “Confirmation that Guy Opperman has been reappointed as pensions minister is encouraging for a post in which continuity over the years has been sadly lacking.”He believes, however, that “with the prospect of a major reshuffle the other side of Brexit whether Opperman will be around to steer the pension schemes bill through parliament and to engage with all the consequential regulations yet to come remains to be seen”. Rothesay Life, one of the UK’s largest pension insurers, and Scottish Widows have seen a total of £1.06bn (€1.2bn) in two separate buy-in deals this month.Rothesay has insured the defined benefit liabilities of the ESAB Group (UK) Limited Pension & Life Assurance Scheme through a £255m bulk annuity transaction, while Scottish Widows has completed a £805m buy-in with the Electricity North West Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme, sponsored by Electricity North West.Rothesay’s insurance policy covers all 900 members of the scheme, 220 of which are deferred. The scheme’s members accrued pension benefits while employed within the ESAB Group, a global manufacturer of welding and cutting equipment, and a subsidiary of Colfax Corporation.Robert Careless, chair of the scheme’s trustee board, said: ”The recent significant improvement in the funding position of the scheme, along with the support of the employer, gave us the opportunity to take this decisive step to successfully remove the volatility of the scheme’s funding level and improve the security of members’ benefits.”
His announcement came as the Commission prepares for a review of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive later this year, with Dombrovkskis indicating there would be a limit to how much disclosure would be prescribed in a revised version of the legislation.“Not every detail can – or should – be fixed in law,” he said. “There is also a need for clear reporting standards for companies to apply.”A European Commission spokeswoman told IPE it was “normal practice” in the world of corporate reporting for standards to accompany legislation and that it was possible this could also become the case with regard to non-financial reporting.She said the Commission expected to reach an agreement with EFRAG by spring on the work it could do.The upcoming review of the NFRD and Dombrovskis’ fresh announcement about European standards comes as investor bodies have been calling for improvements in the availability and quality of non-financial data about companies.Aleksandra Palinka, senior regulatory policy advisor at the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), said the group welcomed the Commission’s intention to support the development of non-financial reporting standards given that, as Dombrovskis said, not every detail could or should be fixed in legislation.However, consistency at international level was key, she said.“If European standards were to be developed, it is important to build on existing international frameworks,” she said.Charles Tilley, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), which provides a framework for company reporting, made a similar point.“Any European solution will ultimately need to be a global solution”Charles Tilley, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council “The environment does not acknowledge borders,” he said. “Any European solution will ultimately need to be a global solution and whilst we congratulate the European Commission on their leadership on this urgent matter, we encourage them to create something that can be applicable globally.” The EU Council, the body for the bloc’s member states, last year suggested the Commission consider the development of a European non-financial reporting standard. The measure was one of several outlined by the Council in a document about its ideas for the next stage of the Capital Markets Union project.Building on what existsIn his speech Dombrovskis indicated the Commission would not be starting from scratch on reporting standards, but using as a starting point “the best and most widely accepted elements of what exists today” and tapping the expertise among “those organisations and individuals who can best contribute to the process”. Source: EU Audiovisual servicesValdis Dombrovksis unveiled the intention to develop European non-financial reporting standards plan at a conference this week“Along with the new taxonomy system, better corporate information will be the cornerstone of our strategy,” he said. “I will enable financial market participants to disclose their sustainable investment to their clients.”The IIRC’s Tilley welcomed the Commission’s intention to build on the work that had already been done in this domain.“It is important that anything the European Commission creates is based upon the work of the standard setters and framework developers already prevalent in the market and it is right that executive vice-president Dombrovskis has committed to this,” he said.EFAMA’s Palinska said investee companies and investors needed to be actively involved in any process of developing standards.The EU Council, the body for the bloc’s member states, last year suggested the Commission consider the development of a European non-financial reporting standard. The measure was one of several outlined by the Council in a document about its ideas for the next stage of the Capital Markets Union project.Since the end of 2018 EFRAG has had a forum for discussion on “non-financial topics”, the European Corporate Reporting Lab. It was established on the back of the Commission’s March 2018 sustainable finance action plan. Last autumn it announced that its next project would be on “Reporting of non-financial risks and opportunities, and linkage to the business model”.A spokesperson for EFRAG said it could not comment on what was said at the Commission’s conference this week.This article was updated to add comments from an EC spokeswoman. The European Commission is going to “support a process” to develop European non-financial reporting standards, according to Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission executive vice president.In a speech delivered this week at a conference about the Commission’s climate change-informed economic growth plan – the European Green Deal – Dombrovskis said the Commission would be inviting the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to begin preparatory work on the standards as quickly as possible.The existence of many overlapping international reporting standards and set-ups confused companies and investors, who also found this situation expensive, Dombrovskis said.“The EU is well placed to address this situation – and show leadership in building consensus for a set of standards that can be widely accepted,” he continued.